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27 July 2006 @ 21:35
Thank you for all your help regarding the kitten. Currently, he's home with us having seen the vet. He miaows every now and then which is worrying me, but it stops when I stroke him. He doesn't seem to actively choose water or food, but the vet assured me he's been eating all day, so he won't do it immediately. He's only been home two hours, so perhaps that's why. I hope there's no other reason.

Okay. Now I'm a little worried. Three hours and he hasn't drunk anything here. Is that normal? I presume they gave him water at the vets. But THREE hours? I think he may be trying to sleep, but I'm so worried. More than anything, I wish someone was here with me that knew what they were doing.

I just saw him eating pretty vigorously. That's a good sign. But what about drinking? I tipped a little water into his food, but it's not enough.

Anyway... here's what happened. We got up to go to the vet at eight o'clock after almost no sleep and lots of crying. When we got there, the vet took one look at him and told us there was nothing he could do for him and the only thing we could do was to put him back where we found him. Maybe the mother would come back for him, because the only thing that would help now would be her milk.

When we found him, he was sitting in the middle of the road unable and unwilling to move. He was blind! ...But it was a vet telling us this. It's a very appealing thought that if you leave things as they are, they'll be okay, especially when it's a trained medic telling you that. So we left Train by the side of the road. Not the middle this time.

James had already booked a train to Kyoto at this point and had to leave.

I was on my way to work four hours later and he was still there, looking more pathetic than ever. I pretty much had a breakdown right there and then. There was nothing I could do but leave him. The vet said so. So I tried the animal rescue charity listed in Metropolis for a second opinion. No answer. I called James and he suggested I ask the people at the corner whose house it was. They had dogs and treated them well.

I knocked on their door and apologised and apologised and explained the problem. A man came round and had a look at the cat and told me of an animal hospital not very far away at all. After much discussion about the cat, he took me there and had a long detailed discussion with the receptionist about whether they could take him in or not. Turns out this was actually about how much it would cost and if they would do it free of charge.

Then he wrapped him up in one of his towels and took me there. Train was treated very well. The pus and blood was vigorously cleaned out of his eyes, and lots of ointment smeared on his face, around his nose. They took a stool sample.

After that, they basically force-fed him. Prised his jaws open and got him to understand what food was and that it was edible. He was happy to eat afterwards.

I had to go to work at the point, but I promised to be back very soon. I was so distracted and my work was really bad. I was neither awake nor focused.

When I got back to the vets, they gave Train back to me in a box with special padding and some kitten food. And yes, it was free of charge as I suspected. I was relieved.

What happens now? Obviously, we're going to look after Train until he's better, but ultimately I don't think we have room for a cat. But who's going to take in a blind kitten...? And I don't think I can take care of a kitten for more than a few days without wanting to keep him. Give Train away or keep him? Either decision is the wrong one.

I really can't deal with this at all. I'm completely on my own here.
(Deleted comment)
scribblemoose on 27th July 2006 09:40 (UTC)
Exactly what yochan said. And don't worry about the water - cats don't need much water to live, they usually get nearly all of it from their food. Try not to worry, babe. Miaowing can be a great sign - he might just want a chat with you!
Thomas Vye: Michael Archangel of Smitethomasvye on 27th July 2006 09:12 (UTC)
When I got my rat Rosie, he was the last one of his litter and all alone in the petshop; my parents told me to leave him as we had Soloman and Eusebius and they didn't want a third rat; but when I went back into the shop at the end of the week, and he was still there, hunched in a corner and too little to eat the stupid dried food I had to have him and take him home. This was nearly 2 1/2 years ago. I nursed him through his first weeks with pippet water and cheerios and I nursed him through his last with the same; animals are the most rewarding creatures ever.

I know this is a bit of a ramble, and obviously Rosie is very much on my mind right now; but if I were you, I would keep Train. You won't regret him.

But that's just my opinion; you have to do what you feel is right.

Honestly, the best of luck with the little one. :)
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on 27th July 2006 10:05 (UTC)
I would take him in in a heartbeat. But my apartment doesn't allow cats... T__T Or maybe it does... I'll ask and see if there's a way that I could take in a cat, because he sounds so sweet, and I REALLY need a little someone like that right now... ;_; Really REALLY need someone here. If you decide to give him away, could you maybe keep him until I can figure things out over here?
Inmalovelessinma on 27th July 2006 10:33 (UTC)
You're right about people not wanting a blind cat... which is kind of sad (_ _) (my boyfriend had a blind dog, though).
But you already like him even if he's blind, so from this person who doesn't really understand your circumstances (me)' point of view, it would be great if you kept him and gave him a happy life (TT)
I don't think he can survive on its own, and after being touched by so many humans the mother won't want him even if she comes back (or that's what they said in Loveless ('-';; ).
It's hard, but I think it's worth it...

three years ago a 3 months old kitten got into my house because the door was opened.
We knew we couldn't keep him because we're not used to have animals and it's not like my house is really big.
But... we all fell in love with him, so now he is the king of my house *laughs*
It's so beautiful to give a place to stay to cats or dogs (TwT)
tirwolftirwolf on 27th July 2006 11:07 (UTC)
ok. One- hang in there. If he is blind he may adapt very well to being a house cat. If you can manage it financially, that is to by cat food & litter, I would encourage you to keep him. Believe that a single cat really doesn't take up much space. I know that many have said not to give him cow's milk. If you give him small amounts of 2%, things should be ok. Use an eye dropper if you have to in order to get it into his mouth. If he is blind, he has to rely on his sense of smell to tell him what is food & what isn't. He may not be able to associate the smell of water or milk as something that he should drink. Forcing him to eat worked with the food so there isn't any reason that it shoudn't work with water & milk.

Is the food dry or canned? Canned food does have some moisture in it & adding some water is a good idea. You can also add a bit of milk as well.

I think the vet saw a no win situation & wanted to give you a less guilt ridden way out by putting the cat back & letting him die. I truly believe that you have done the right thing. I hate to get philsophical here, but strange things happen for reasons that we can't explain. Focus all of your thoughts on healing when dealing with Train. At this point, it is all up to the powers that be & your patience & care. You have done a wonderful job trying to help. More than most people would have done so just hang in there.
Scunnertscotiva on 27th July 2006 11:07 (UTC)
Don't worry- it must seem overwhelming, but it sounds like you're doing fine. He will want a lot of sleep (all kittens do). Cats are desert animals- they don't need that much water. Next time you play with him, try putting some on your finger and see if he licks it off. Whether people want a blind cat depends on cultural and personal preferences, but I'm sure if you cite his back story someone will take a fancy to him. How big is your flat? With a lot of attention and some toys he may be happy in 2 or 3 rooms if you can bear to have him running around the place. Also, unless the vet said otherwise, he may not be permemantly blind- once the infection goes he may regain some or all of his sight. Here's hoping!
katikat on 27th July 2006 11:40 (UTC)
Hm, I'm no a cat expert but I know a lot about the dilemas of keeping or not keeping an animal (it was a dog in my case). If both of the decisions are wrong for you, then try thinking about what's best for the kitty. Do you think there is a place where the people would love him and take care of him better than you? If you honestly do think so and do find such people then give Train away and ask them if you can visit him. But if you don't... Once, we gave away a dog and later found out that the people starved him to death. I would never give away any animal now without being 100% sure that what I'm doing is right.
nekojitanekojita on 27th July 2006 11:49 (UTC)
*huggles* I'd think I'd become too attached, unless I knew he was going to a very good home. I think the care and concern you've showed Train is amazing and hope that he keeps improving. I don't have any advice on how to feed him or not (did the vet say how old he was?). Do you know anyone who might take him?
Aviumcode_renegade on 27th July 2006 12:11 (UTC)
The kitten not seeming to drink isn't something to worry about if it has only been a few hours. But do place some water near his food so he can hae access to water if he feels the need for it.

It's a hard decision to make, but having a blind pet in the house means having to be very accomodating. High furniture are discouraged since the cat may get on top and fall off, as are sharp corners. Moving furniture about after the cat is used to its position is a no-no in case of accidents. You will also find yourself devoting a lot of time to guiding it around the place initially. It's a very effort-intensive task to undertake, but the rewards are great. But ultimately the choice is yours to make, especially since you and your husband are both working and can't be on-call for the kitten all the time. Still, there will always be someone out there willing to care for it if you can't ^^ You can always try putting up posters, which I gather is a rather common thing to do in Japan.
h e l l o. i've waited here for you.: don't let me break downnanami_hibino on 27th July 2006 12:39 (UTC)
As several other people have said, it sounds like you're holding up just fine, all things considered. The meowing is most likely just him missing his mother. They do that for a couple of days sometimes. It's sad, but he's been given his best (and probably only) chance of survival thanks to you.

It is easy to feel overwhelmed. I was at my limit with 4 cats of my own. Or so I thought. @.@; Then a couple of months ago I find a kitten tangled up in some construction netting... Turns out my limit was higher than I thought.

Things usually settle down, it just takes time. And when the time comes to make a decision, I think you'll know what to do. Even though things have obviously been chaotic, you've done an unbelievable job of getting things done!

No matter what, you're officially my hero for the day! Keep us updated!
teeshmintblue on 27th July 2006 12:59 (UTC)
Over from expatsjapan
Hi :) I visited your page because I was wondering how the little guy was faring. It sounds like he's doing ok, and that you've done a brilliant job. You're wonderful for taking him in and looking after him, despite how stressful it is for you.

All the best with making a decision as to whether to keep Train or give him away. It's a tough decision to make - I um-ed and ah-ed as to whether to take in a kitten (I wanted company in a big house) and I still worry about whether I made the right choice! (I now have a kitten.) As somebody else said though, pets are very rewarding. Trying, frustrating and sometimes infuriating, but in the end they are more than worth all of that. Good luck!
Williamgenkischuldich on 29th July 2006 09:20 (UTC)
Re: Over from expatsjapan
Thank you very much for commenting. It's amazing how many people have responding and it helps a lot. Thank you. :)
teeshmintblue on 29th July 2006 09:26 (UTC)
Re: Over from expatsjapan
You're welcome! 頑張って! :D
h_w: orchideehungry_worm on 27th July 2006 13:18 (UTC)
Aw, I'm happy he seems to be doing better now. That he hasn't been picked up by his mom on the street might have been, isn't too surprising - he already seemed neglected when you picked him up first, so he might either been left by the owner, or the mom might have died.
Right now, I think you two just need to estimate if you can deal with caring for him in the next time... I know how easy I get attached, so I feel for you, but as others said - the final question if you should ultimately keep him or not shouldn't be answered now. I think it's great that you took such good care of him for now, just keep following your heart in making upcoming decisions.

I've seen a report about blind cats and their holders on tv, and they were not having much trouble at all. They have less risk of getting viral diseases, since they stay house cats, and they really don't need much space (I guess they'd feel safe having a moderately sized territory where they know all corners).
I'd take him immediately, if you couldn't keep him or wouldn't find someone else; we've hadn't had a kitten for a long, long time. However, the thought of the quarantene time makes me cringe already. That would actually be my only reason to vote for finding him a home over there (might be less horrible once he's stabilized and a bit older, though).
Come on, he's already found a place in your heart, anyway, right? ;) He sounds like a kitten that would have such effect. Either way, I'm sure you'll be fine - you dealt with it much better than many, already, so I'm confident you will be right in what you're doing. Just don't stress yourself over the far-away future now. He's already got the worst behind him now, thanks to you.
Iczer6iczer6 on 27th July 2006 16:13 (UTC)
I'm glad you decided to help, that vet sounds like a real jerk.

My advice would be to take things one day at time.

Just focus on getting him healthy, like others have said his other health problems may clear up with time, and then figure out if you want to keep him or find him a good home.
Stormystormyserenity on 27th July 2006 22:12 (UTC)
Ditto with what the others are saying; you're doing a great thing taking care of this little guy. Good luck. *chuckle* a lot of people who can't do a darn thing to help are cheering you on!

I've had ittybitties who wouldn't drink formula for more than three hours and I'd always panic thinking they were going to get starved and dehydrated, but they were always fine.

The meowing probably means your kitten wants its mom. It confused me for ages why my guys cried when they did, and I finally figured they don't necessarily want food or potty, they want to cuddle up to mom and get licked and basically, stuff a human mom can't provide.

Did the vet say your guy was permanently blind, or might his eyes heal?
tirwolftirwolf on 28th July 2006 08:47 (UTC)
It's Fri a.m. here. Just wondered how you & Train were doing. Well, I hope...